THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 1984 – SUNDAY OCTOBER 7, 1984
Built on an abandoned property over the course of ten years, Adam Purple’s Garden of Eden was an elaborately designed oasis amidst the rubble of the neglected Lower East Side in New York City. In 1984, this public garden was facing demolition as a result of the proposed construction of a low-income housing project by the New York City Housing Authority. Storefront invited 30 architects—including Lebbeus Woods, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, Zvi Hecker, Neil Denari, Eric Owen Moss and others—to design two city blocks of public housing around Purple’s Garden of Eden. The exhibition presented these alternative designs to integrate the garden within the housing project and envisioned future environments that would improve basic urban shelter through accompaniment with nature. The proposals were forwarded to the Housing Authority in an attempt to preserve Purple’s Garden of Eden; the effort ultimately proved unsuccessful, and Purple’s garden was destroyed.
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